The Washington Post

Maryland football players performed better in classroom, according to NCAA data

Maryland’s football players are doing a better job in the classroom, according to data released by the NCAA, and as a result, the team won’t be docked any scholarships in the upcoming season.

The Terrapins were penalized with a loss of three scholarships last season because of the squad’s sub-par Academic Progress Rate (APR), a figure compiled by the NCAA that provides a snapshot of the progress students are making toward a degree. At that time, the NCAA’s cut-off for acceptable APR was 925, which correlates to roughly a 50 percent graduation rate.

Based on data submitted for the 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons (the final four seasons under former Coach Ralph Friedgen), the football team’s APR increased from 922 to 931 this year. Its most recent single-year score (for 2010-11) was 972 — a marked improvement over the previous year’s 905.

The Maryland men’s cross-country team — which is among eight teams the university plans to eliminate on June 30 as part of a budget-cutting measure — paced the Terrapins in the classroom with a perfect multiyear score of 1,000. That placed it among the top 10 percent of NCAA teams nationally.

The Maryland men’s basketball team was credited with a four-year average APR of 970 and a one-year APR of 961 (2010-11), reflecting the final years of Gary Williams’s tenure. Women’s basketball earned a four-year APR of 956 and a one-year figure of 964.

In addition to men’s cross-country, four other Maryland teams posted single-year marks of 1,000: men’s swimming (also scheduled to be dropped June 30), wrestling, women’s golf and volleyball.

Liz Clarke currently covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. She has also covered seven Olympic Games, two World Cups and written extensively about college sports, tennis and auto racing.

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